Let's start by saying I'm not exactly shy about my period, and for good reason too. I'm raising two kids, one boy, one girl. One day, my daughter will grow up and experience menstruation for herself. I've always been fairly comfortable discussing my cycle, and I want her to know that it's perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of. In the same way, my son already has, and will likely continue to have, those who experience menstruation in his life, and I want him to understand that it's normal and nothing to be grossed out by.
Call me a weirdo, but I enjoy my period. More so since I learned to track my cycle and give in to those days when I need to be a little kinder to myself. Your cycle really has a massive impact on your mood and your energy levels, so I'm careful to make the most of the high energy when I have it, and give in to those lazy days when I need to. I don't use hormonal contraception, because I like to know how things are going with my body, and the menstrual cycle is a huge indicator of our overall health. It always surprises me when people talk negatively about their periods. I guess I have gotten so comfortable with mine over the last few years, that I sometimes forget that not everyone feels the same way.
One of the things that always gets me, is the names we give to our periods. You know the ones, those euphemisms we use on the daily (or is that monthly?) to describe whats happening to our bodies. And I get it, we've been brought up to feel uncomfortable discussing this stuff. So it's easier to call it by a prettier, more appealing name, than to just speak out and call a spade, a spade. But in doing this, we just exacerbate the problem and feed the taboo. Unless we start to normalise periods by talking about them - it will continue to be a subject we're uncomfortable to talk about.
It's time we got real honest about what a period is, what it looks like, and how it makes us feel.
I mean, even the "feminine hygiene" companies don't fully acknowledge a period for what it is. Seriously, what even is that weird blue liquid they use to demonstrate the absorbency of their products? I don't know about you, but my period looks nothing like that (oh, and FYI, if yours does then you might wanna get that checked out, ASAP). It's time we start acknowledging, accepting and celebrating (yes, celebrating) our periods for the perfectly natural, beautiful process that they are.
I quizzed my Instagram audience on what they call their period. 91% percent of them said they openly use the word "period", but here are some of the other words they also said they use:
• Aunt Flow
• Red River
• Monthly Visitor
• Mother Nature
• Lady Time
I feel like we still have a long way to go when it comes to normalising periods and addressing the feelings of shame that can come with them, but at least calling it by the proper name, and not using something else to disguise what we're really talking about, is a step in the right direction 💪
As a side note...
Since we're talking about periods, I have to share my number one period product with you - it's the Mooncup! Mooncup is a reusable silicone menstrual cup. Think of it kinda like a tampon, but better. It's reusable which means less sanitary and less waste heading into our oceans and landfills, and less money being spent on tampons and pads every month. It's a win-win, right? If you wanna find out more, head to the Mooncup website for more info.